Justin Trudeau – The Rebel to Rabble Review: Rebel sticks a fork in Alberta’s lockdown
After turning her YouTube spotlight on a barbershop in Innisfail, Alta., as it proudly (albeit temporarily, as it turned out) reopened for business earlier this month despite ongoing provincewide social-distancing restrictions, Rebel News Alberta bureau chief Sheila Gunn Reid spent the weekend chronicling yet another “lockdown rebellion … underway in small-town Alberta,” courtesy of the Whistle Stop Diner in a place called Mirror.
“Population 500, Mirror is about 1.5 hours southeast of Edmonton, and it’s home to a delicious protest against the lockdown.” It began “late last week,” when owner Chris Scott defied the temporary shutdown order to “swing his doors open to hungry diners looking for a hot meal, a strong coffee, and a little bit of normalcy.”
Since then, “the place has been packed,” with Scott’s staff “volunteering their time to support the survival of the Whistle Stop.”
“That’s not to say it’s been smooth sailing for Scott,” Gunn Reid said in a video update posted on Monday, noting that officials from Alberta Health Services (AHS) had “paid Scott a visit after he posted to Facebook to announce he would be defying the lockdown, and told him he must immediately close … which he didn’t, (and) have also threatened to yank his health permits and liquor licence, going forward.”
In addition, “the local RCMP, acting under the direction of AHS, has said that Scott has the potential to face escalating fines and possibly jail time.”
By Tuesday, Scott had been hit with a “shutdown notice against his diner,” and “ordered to appear in court on April 22, 2021.”
Scott, however, “refuses to close his doors,” according to Gunn Reid.
“Rebel News will be providing Scott (with) legal help to fight his charge in court, at no cost to him, through our largest civil-liberties effort to date: www.FightTheFines.com,” she reported on Wednesday. Those who want to “show support to Chris Scott, and other restaurant owners like him who are willing to defy the lockdown order,” can co-sign a petition to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney “demanding the reopen(ing) of dining and service at www.SaveTheCafe.com.”
Meanwhile, Rebel roving correspondent-at-large Keean Bexte dropped by yet another lockdown-defying eatery: the Mossleigh Bar N Grill, “a small pub off Highway 24 in rural Alberta (that) was recently visited by Justin Trudeau’s RCMP and Jason Kenney’s COVID officers.” This was after it opened to “sit-down dining … in contravention of Premier Kenney’s widely disliked regulations, which make that very act illegal.”
The result: “After a day of feeding people like it was 2019, the close-knit community of Mossleigh (located about an hour southeast of Calgary) was met by the law. Kenney’s and Trudeau’s officers tag-teamed the restaurant, the former taping up hastily printed closure notices and the latter standing in the corner with her 9-mm Smith and Wesson threateningly displayed for everyone to see,” Bexte explains.
“The COVID officer took photos of every patron in the bar, and some Mossleighers responded with a candid middle finger.” That said, “after the notice was posted, the bar decided to close for the day.”
Back in Toronto, Rebel mission specialist David Menzies spent another Saturday afternoon chronicling the back-and-forth between police and protesters at an anti-lockdown rally in Yonge-Dundas Square.
Calling it “perversely ironic that this lockdown protester was wearing a winter hat festooned with the ominous hammer-and-sickle emblem of the now-defunct Soviet Union,” Menzies noted that he “was in for a throwback surprise, (since), under Czarina John Tory, Yonge-Dundas Square (in 2021) resembles Red Square Classic.” Furthermore, “the new normal … very much resembles the ‘old Soviet Union normal.’ ”
Overall, he reported, “Toronto police were out in full force yet again, (with) some protesters being ticketed, while others were tackled and thrown into paddy wagons.”
His conclusion: “What a disgrace.”
And while police also tried to shut down news coverage, the seven-person Rebel News team refused to budge, despite the police “reimagining Yonge-Dundas Square as Tiananmen Square, circa 1989.”
In the end, however, “the demonstrators had the last laugh,” as he saw it.
“While the protesters were indeed dispersed from Yonge-Dundas Square (which increasingly resembles a No Man’s Land these days), they did not entirely disperse into thin air. In fact, they literally took to the streets. And several dozen went into stores, unmasked, to do their shopping, much to the chagrin of managers and security guards who were helpless to prevent the charge.”
Meanwhile, Rebel News commander Ezra Levant intends to launch a lawsuit against the Toronto Police Service after its “journalists and videographers have been told … that they were ‘not essential,’ (and) even shoved around by police on multiple occasions.”
On the other side of the docket, Rebel News has found itself under threat of legal action by the Ontario government — or, as the Rebel puts it, “Premier Doug Ford’s justice department” over an image that appears on the FightTheFines campaign website of an OPP officer: “a stock image of an Ontario Provincial Police officer’s vest, one published to the OPP website, freely available for all to access, yet we don’t even show the officer’s face in our usage.”
In any case, “what started out as an email — labelled as urgent, and stressing that this was a matter that needed to be dealt with swiftly — then turned into a phone call between Rebel boss Ezra Levant and two lawyers for Doug Ford’s government of Ontario, including the deputy legal director for the Treasury Board Secretariat.”
Finally, the Rebel’s Tamara Ugolini has an exclusive interview with Kristen Nagle, an Ontario nurse who was fired “with cause” from her post at a London neonatal intensive-care unit after allegedly helping to organize an anti-lockdown rally in November, and who was also revealed to have travelled to Washington to speak at a rally that took place on the same day as the riots at the U.S. Capitol.
“Kristen pointed out that the stage where she spoke was a few kilometres away from the Trump rally that same day, so while she did not partake in the large gathering nearby, she was aware of it,” Ugolini notes.
“She asserted that the day was peaceful, full of good vibes and information-sharing. Of course, this is a stark contrast to the cherry-picked mainstream-media display of what occurred in D.C. that same day.”
Trending on the progressive-left side of the Canadian activist mediasphere:
- With the Keystone XL pipeline now seemingly off the table for good, the spotlight is on the TransMountain pipeline expansion already in progress, which, as Ricochet’s Alex Nguyen reports, is facing “soaring … construction costs, … safety concerns, and determined opposition.”
- Retired veteran New Democrat MP Bill Blaikie offers Rabble his thoughts on the “toxic roots of the Capitol attack, (and) how a number of political, economic, and cultural toxic streams came together to create the context for Trump, and, ultimately, the fuel that Trump set on fire with his post-election big lie.”
- Over at Canadian Dimension, Kevin Barry wonders why, amid the ongoing outrage and confusion over delayed deliveries of COVID vaccines, no one seems to be asking the “critical question,” namely: “Why do we allow companies like Pfizer and Moderna to control our vaccine supply in the first place?”
- Passage essayist Ali Terrenoire explores the “status quo” of the current immigration system “that admits the richest of Global South countries while excluding the working class.”
- The Press Progress team checks in on “the think tank formerly known as the Manning Centre,” which, under its new moniker, the Canada Strong and Free Network, “is teaming up with right-wing and pro-oil groups to host an event on the ‘Great Reset.’ ” It’s a World Economic Forum recovery plan that, as PP notes, “has become a popular far-right conspiracy among anti-lockdown groups and the Canadian far right.”